Workshop report. Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders: Gaps and opportunities

Jeanne F. Duffy, Sabra M. Abbott, Helen J. Burgess, Stephanie J. Crowley, Jonathan S. Emens, Lawrence J. Epstein, Karen L. Gamble, Brant P. Hasler, David A. Kristo, Roneil G. Malkani, Shadab A. Rahman, S. Justin Thomas, James K. Wyatt, Phyllis C. Zee, Elizabeth B. Klerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


This White Paper presents the results from a workshop cosponsored by the Sleep Research Society (SRS) and the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) whose goals were to bring together sleep clinicians and sleep and circadian rhythm researchers to identify existing gaps in diagnosis and treatment and areas of high-priority research in circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders (CRSWD). CRSWD are a distinct class of sleep disorders caused by alterations of the circadian time-keeping system, its entrainment mechanisms, or a misalignment of the endogenous circadian rhythm and the external environment. In these disorders, the timing of the primary sleep episode is either earlier or later than desired, irregular from day-to-day, and/or sleep occurs at the wrong circadian time. While there are incomplete and insufficient prevalence data, CRSWD likely affect at least 800,000 and perhaps as many as 3 million individuals in the United States, and if Shift Work Disorder and Jet Lag are included, then many millions more are impacted. The SRS Advocacy Taskforce has identified CRSWD as a class of sleep disorders for which additional high-quality research could have a significant impact to improve patient care. Participants were selected for their expertise and were assigned to one of three working groups: Phase Disorders, Entrainment Disorders, and Other. Each working group presented a summary of the current state of the science for their specific CRSWD area, followed by discussion from all participants. The outcome of those presentations and discussions are presented here.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberzsaa281
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • actigraphy
  • advanced sleep-wake phase disorder
  • bright light therapy
  • chronotype
  • circadian amplitude
  • circadian period
  • circadian phase
  • circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders
  • delayed sleep-wake phase disorder
  • dim light melatonin onset
  • entrainment
  • irregular sleep-wake rhythm disorder
  • melatonin
  • non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder


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